Irregularities in NREGS exposed

ZP president conducts a nocturnal operation to detect use of machinery


Zilla Panchayat president M Srinivas and police officers near the tank where NREGS work was being executed using machines, in Reddyhalli of Mulbagal taluk, on Monday mid night. DH photo

The operation, witnessed by media, lasted up to wee hours of Tuesday.

Work on desilting of the tank at Reddyhalli within Angandahalli Gram Panchayat limits of Mulbagal taluk was in progress when the Zilla Panchayat president, M Srinivas swooped on the place on Monday night. The work was being executed with two JCB machines and three tractors.

Two drivers fled the spot as soon as they saw the ZP president. People working at the spot informed that the desilting work was being carried out for the past few days. A few residents of the village also showed places where works had been carried out using machines, in the night.

Information was immediately passed on to the Mulbagal police. The president asked the Zilla Panchayat chief executive officer G V Rangarao and Mulbagal Taluk Panchayat executive officer Sanjappa to come to the spot. He directed PSI Narayanaswamy, who arrived at the spot to seize the vehicles.

Lack of information

Meanwhile, Taluk Panchayat executive officer Sanjappa, who came there said that it was wrong to carry out the work near the tank during night but expressed his inability to confirm whether it was being executed under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme or not.

The contact numbers of the Gram Panchayat secretary or the president were not available with him so as to obtain information.

Documents verified

Sanjappa said that he would furnish the information on Tuesday morning. But not satisfied with the reply, the zilla panchayat president insisted on verifying the real fact from the documents at Angandahalli Gram Panchayat office.

It was 12.15 in the midnight when the doors of the office were opened. The name of Reddyhalli tank was found in the list of works taken up under National Rural Employment
Guarantee Scheme.

An anguished Srinivas questioned Sanjappa who replied that there were two Reddyhalli tanks and the work was being carried out at the other end.

Suspended

Zilla Panchayat chief executive officer Rangarao came there by that time. Sanjappa then stated that Gram Panchayat secretary, Samrat, was responsible for the irregularity. He was suspended for dereliction of duty on two earlier occasions, and is again into the same way, he said. “Action will be taken against the erring Gram Panchayat secretary.

Criminal case will be registered if the inquiry establishes the irregularity,” he later told reporters.

Srinivas later said that the work at Reddyhalli is only a tip of the iceberg of irregularities being committed under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.  

Funds are being embezzled under the scheme in the district and a thorough probe should be conducted, he demanded.

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